Creating a Brighter Future
Ethnic Potluck and Missions Night Jan. 28
This delightful evening shared by ~40 people started with a delicious potluck supper that included an array of dishes from several different countries. Here are just a few examples we enjoyed – oriental shrimp dumplings offered by some of our School of Architecture students, Lorna’s potato and chickpea curry from Guyana, Grace’s Dutch almond cake, Alejandro and Kathryn’s Guatemalan tostadas with hot sauce and a dark fruit cake whose cook and origin are unknown but we’d sure like to get the recipe!.
This was followed by three of our members who invited us to explore the opportunities to serve in our local and global community. Elsie began by taking us back to how our mission at Rachel’s Home in Lesotho, Africa, first began more than 10 years ago. She asked for our prayers as we continue to support the AIDS orphanage and community school in a beautiful country that sees so much violence and poverty each day. We know that every “penny” we send goes directly to pay for teachers’ and care-givers’ salaries, school supplies, groceries and clothing. Rachel’s Home needs our help to do some badly needed maintenance but it is just too dangerous to visit now. Our two mission trips were in 2009 and 2012.
Next up was Greg giving us a very moving account of how our very own Ontario Christian Gleaners, a volunteer organization located just outside of Cambridge, is partnering with two other organizations, The Samaritan Foundation and Cups of Cold Water. These organizations combine the gospel message with humanitarian aid. The Gleaners prepare the ingredients for soup, which is then donated to the partner organizations who build schools where children can come for the soup and receive hope through an education. Greg told us the story of how previously, before these organizations arrived, the children had to help their parents rummage, without wearing any gloves, through dumps that contained everything, in order to make a living on a peso a day. The parents could not afford to send their children to school. Now decent houses and schools are being built and children can come to school for free and be assured of the soup providing at least one nourishing meal each day. This has lightened the financial burden for the parents and offered a brighter future.
Alejandro was our last speaker and he told us about the mission trip planned for October to return to a small town, Cubulco, in the mountains of Guatemala. Previously Alejandro and his team built a church alongside people of the town while sharing God’s love and growing friendships. This time the plan is to help add classrooms for Sunday School but the church serves as a community center so the rooms will serve many needs. The people are hard workers but need help with some necessary skills. This time members of our church will join Alejandro and some members of other churches for the trip. If you might consider joining this mission trip, please contact Alejandro.
Alejandro also told us about his work with migrant Mexican workers. He shares God’s love with these people while playing sports.
Certainly not our Saturday in December!
When Central’s team arrived to help prepare and serve a hot meal at Mike’s Lunch Baskett, they were met by Pat Singleton, the Executive Director of the Cambridge Self Help Food Bank. Pat, limping with a cane and in obvious pain. Carol and her trusty helper, Heather had the day off and an emergency had prevented the replacement cook from coming.
Pat had ordered the food for the meal to be delivered to the kitchen, but it was nowhere in sight, so first it was quite a scramble to find the supplies in the warehouse walk-in fridge and freezer. The meal was to be served from 11 -1 and usually the cook had the main dish started for us and the menu planned with the supplies needed already in the kitchen. We would then continue prepping and cooking. We couldn’t find the frozen corn in the freezer downstairs but decided we could always come down and find some canned vegetables.
We quickly set three of our team cutting potatoes very small and cooking and mashing them in small batches so we could have some ready for 11:00. Others sliced the hams which were luckily just thawed and got them warming in the oven. We found some frozen corn in an upstairs freezer so that was really helpful and got it cooking. Others got the stove top stuffing made, gravy heated, buns buttered and pickles put out. We set up the tables and chairs and the serving table and announced to the understanding and patient guests we would be ~15 minutes late getting started serving.
Two of our September team members – Gerda and Grace
Some more problems occurred. First, the dessert, a variety of fresh pies, was coming from a supplier in Paris and was delayed due to snowy roads. Second, the big coffee urn decided to pack it in. Luckily June Anderson, the Spiritual Care provider, arrived and brought in a Tim Horton’s coffee maker, quickly getting some coffee going for the guests that came in out of the cold for a hot drink before the meal.
The lunch of ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy, buns, frozen corn, pickles and pie were very much appreciated by~70 thankful people. Extra food was taken to the Intermediate Christian Home where it was shared with the guests there and others in need. What a busy day and an amazing team! We would like to give a special thank you to Nathan, teenage son of Don Willis’ friend, who worked so hard doing a lot of the heavy lifting and also is earning school volunteer hours. After finishing the clean up and dishes, this had been the busiest Saturday ever and a tired team went home about 2:00 p.m. knowing they had made a difference and God’s love had been shared in this place!
We’re getting there. As of January 21st, there are still a few sound issues remaining. Aubrey’s sermons are recording properly, but for the Praise Band, we haven’t quite got the balance between the voices and the instruments correct yet. We will continue to tweak things over the next few weeks until we get it right.
We are also investigating the possibility of replacing our current camera with something more suited to the task.
In the meantime, the Praise Band really does sound much better in person than on Youtube. Come and hear it for yourself! Please join us Sunday mornings at 9:15, between now and February 11th. February 18th, we will introduce our single service starting at 10:00. We will still have our Praise Band and you are still welcome to join us.
We will keep you posted as we move forward with our new 10:00 service.
To date we collected 176 items:
19 pr. Socks
1 pr. Child’s leggings
3 hat/mitten sets
73 pr. Mittens/gloves
1 pr. Child’s ear muffs
1 headband/ear warmer
4 neck warmers
The tree will be up until the end of January, so hopefully the ‘second haul’ will be just as wonderful! Everything that we collect, goes to support our friends at the Cambridge Self Help Food Bank. If you’re not the knitting type and you don’t like shopping, you can still support our campaign, by donating here.
Thank-you to everyone who has contributed to the tree thus far.